"Agnčs Szavay Overpowers Tathiana Garbin in Late Night Clash
00:03 - 07/02/2008 - Cécile Verin
A match of opposite styles unfolded tonight on Central Court with Italy’s Tathiana Garbin (n39) trying to use her experience and consistency to counter the power and depth of Hungary’s young upstart Agnčs Szavay (20). After a 2 hour and 19 minute battle, youth prevailed in Coubertin tonight. (Photo: Panoramic)
With an impressive start and her signature grunt accompanying each of her shots, Garbin, 30, took an early 3-0 lead while her younger opponent, seemed to have trouble getting into the rhythm. The Italian got off to a great start hitting several emphatic winners from the baseline. But it soon became obvious that time was all Szavay needed to adjust and play like a top 20 player when she, in turn, won a series of seven consecutive games using a varied ground strokes, drop shots and passing shots. Aided by the recurrent weakness of the Garbin serve, Szavay’s power game earned her the first set 6-3 in 38 minutes.
In the second set, the Italian seized the opportunity that was offered to her to start with a clean slate and she finally won a game on a surprisingly bad drop shot from Szavay that was more a lapse of concentration than anything else. But with the few spectators left in the stands on her side as the underdog the French crowds typically love so much, Garbin was able to put on a strong show of defensive tennis to counter her opponent’s power, and seemed to be winning most of the longer points. At times, it took the youngest player as much energy to win an entire game as it took the Italian to win a single point against her. Yet the Italian never gave up, waited until she was out of the eye of the Szavay storm, broke her serve, served for the set and offered the Coubertin fans some amazing points in the process. The set went to Garbin the fighter (6-4) in an hour.
The final set was just as good as the previous one and after taking a medical timeout because of a bleeding knee at 2-1, the inexhaustible Italian kept running down all of Szavay’s flat and powerful shots but they eventually became too strong for her and she found herself behind 1-4. As can be expected from a seasoned fighter like Garbin, she never gave up. But the youngster’s power and precision were simply too much for the Italian veteran in the end. With only some 100 die-hard women’s tennis fans remaining in the stadium, Garbin went up to serve to stay in the match trailing 2-5. But, the powerful youngster didn’t falter and closed out a hard-fought first-round match. Agnčs Szavay will be a player to watch as the tournament unfolds."